Singapore Government
Link to Homepage
Home | About Us | Browse | Advanced Search | Results | My Preferences | FAQ | Help | PLUS
Slider
Left Corner
Print   Link to Viewed VersionLink to In-Force Version
 
On 21/11/2017, you requested the version in force on 21/11/2017 incorporating all amendments published on or before 21/11/2017. The closest version currently available is that of 31/05/2015.
Slider
PART 2
OFFENCES
Intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress
3.
—(1)  No person shall, with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another person, by any means —
(a)
use any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour; or
(b)
make any threatening, abusive or insulting communication,
thereby causing that other person or any other person (each referred to for the purposes of this section as the victim) harassment, alarm or distress.
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and, subject to section 8, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
(3)  In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2), it is a defence for the accused person to prove that his conduct was reasonable.
Illustrations
(a)  X and Y are co‑workers. At the workplace, X loudly and graphically describes to the other co‑workers X’s desire for a sexual relationship with Y in an insulting manner. X knows that Y is within earshot and intends to cause Y distress. Y is distressed. X is guilty of an offence under this section.
(b)  X writes a letter containing threatening words towards Y intending to send the letter to Y to cause him alarm. X decides not to send the letter and throws it away. Y finds the letter and is alarmed. X is not guilty of an offence under this section as he had no reason to believe that the letter would be seen by Y.
Harassment, alarm or distress
4.
—(1)  No person shall by any means —
(a)
use any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour; or
(b)
make any threatening, abusive or insulting communication,
which is heard, seen or otherwise perceived by any person (referred to for the purposes of this section as the victim) likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and, subject to section 8, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
(3)  In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2), it is a defence for the accused person to prove —
(a)
that he had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the communication made, by him would be heard, seen or otherwise perceived by the victim; or
(b)
that his conduct was reasonable.
Illustration
X and Y are classmates. X posts a vulgar tirade against Y on a website accessible to all of their classmates. One of Y’s classmates shows the message on the website to Y, and Y is distressed. X is guilty of an offence under this section.
Fear or provocation of violence
5.
—(1)  No person shall by any means use towards another person (referred to for the purposes of this section as the victim) any threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or make any threatening, abusive or insulting communication to another person (referred to also for the purposes of this section as the victim), either —
(a)
with the intent —
(i)
to cause the victim to believe that unlawful violence will be used by any person against the victim or any other person; or
(ii)
to provoke the use of unlawful violence by the victim or another person against any other person; or
(b)
whereby —
(i)
the victim is likely to believe that such violence referred to in paragraph (a)(i) will be used; or
(ii)
it is likely that such violence referred to in paragraph (a)(ii) will be provoked.
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and, subject to section 8, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
(3)  In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2), it is a defence for the accused person to prove —
(a)
in respect of a contravention of subsection (1)(b), that he had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the communication made, by him would be heard, seen or otherwise perceived by the victim; or
(b)
that his conduct was reasonable.
Threatening, abusing or insulting public servant or public service worker
6.
—(1)  No person shall by any means —
(a)
use any indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour; or
(b)
make any indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting communication,
towards or to a public servant or public service worker (referred to for the purposes of this section as the victim) in relation to the execution of the victim’s duty as such public servant or public service worker.
(2)  No offence is committed under this section unless the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the victim was acting in his capacity as a public servant or public service worker, as the case may be.
(3)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and, subject to section 8, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
(4)  In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (3), it is a defence for the accused person to prove —
(a)
that he had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the communication made, by him would be heard, seen or otherwise perceived by the victim; or
(b)
that his conduct was reasonable.
(5)  In this section —
“public servant” has the same meaning as in the Penal Code (Cap. 224), and includes any person who, by virtue of any other written law, is deemed to be a public servant for the purposes of the Penal Code;
“public service worker” means an individual who belongs to a prescribed class of employees or workers that provides any service which is essential to the well‑being of the public or the proper functioning of Singapore, as prescribed under subsection (6).
(6)  For the purposes of the definition of “public service worker” in subsection (5), the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, prescribe the classes of employees or workers and the services provided by them.
(7)  Every order made under subsection (6) shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication in the Gazette.
Unlawful stalking
7.
—(1)  No person shall unlawfully stalk another person.
(2)  Subject to subsection (7), a person (referred to in this section as the accused person) unlawfully stalks another person (referred to for the purposes of this section as the victim) if the accused person engages in a course of conduct which —
(a)
involves acts or omissions associated with stalking;
(b)
causes harassment, alarm or distress to the victim; and
(c)
the accused person —
(i)
intends to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the victim; or
(ii)
knows or ought reasonably to know is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the victim.
(3)  The following are examples of acts or omissions which, in particular circumstances, are ones associated with stalking:
(a)
following the victim or a related person;
(b)
making any communication, or attempting to make any communication, by any means —
(i)
to the victim or a related person;
(ii)
relating or purporting to relate to the victim or a related person; or
(iii)
purporting to originate from the victim or a related person;
(c)
entering or loitering in any place (whether public or private) outside or near the victim’s or a related person’s place of residence or place of business or any other place frequented by the victim or the related person;
(d)
interfering with property in the possession of the victim or a related person (whether or not the accused person has an interest in the property);
(e)
giving or sending material to the victim or a related person, or leaving it where it will be found by, given to or brought to the attention of, the victim or a related person;
(f)
keeping the victim or a related person under surveillance.
Illustrations
These acts are acts associated with stalking of X by Y:
(a)  Y repeatedly sends emails to Y’s subordinate (X) with suggestive comments about X’s body.
(b)  Y sends flowers to X daily even though X has asked Y to stop doing so.
(c)  Y repeatedly circulates revealing photographs of a classmate (X) to other classmates.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (2)(c), the accused person ought reasonably to know that his course of conduct is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the victim if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think that the course of conduct is likely to have that effect.
(5)  In considering whether a course of conduct is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, the court may have regard to the following factors:
(a)
the number of occasions on which the acts or omissions associated with stalking were carried out;
(b)
the frequency and the duration of the acts or omissions associated with stalking that were carried out;
(c)
the manner in which the acts or omissions associated with stalking were carried out;
(d)
the circumstances in which the acts or omissions associated with stalking were carried out;
(e)
the particular combination of acts or omissions associated with stalking comprised in the course of conduct;
(f)
the likely effects of the course of conduct on the victim’s safety, health, reputation, economic position, or his freedom to do any act which he is legally entitled to do or not to do any act which he is not legally bound to do; and
(g)
the circumstances of the victim including his physical or mental health and personality.
(6)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and, subject to section 8, shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
(7)  In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (6), it is a defence for the accused person to prove —
(a)
that the course of conduct was reasonable in all the circumstances;
(b)
that the course of conduct was pursued under any written law or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any written law;
(c)
that the course of conduct was lawfully done under a duty or power under any written law for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime; or
(d)
that the course of conduct was done on behalf of the Government and was necessary for the purposes of national security, national defence or the conduct of international relations.
(8)  If any dispute arises as to whether any act falls within paragraph (d) of subsection (7), a certificate issued under the hand of the Minister responsible for national security, or for national defence or for the conduct of international relations, as the case may be, stating that in his opinion any act done by a specified person on a specified occasion falls within that paragraph shall be conclusive evidence that the act falls within that paragraph.
(9)  A document purporting to be a certificate issued pursuant to subsection (8) and to be issued under the hand of the Minister shall be received in evidence and, unless the contrary is proved, be treated as being such a certificate.
(10)  In this section —
“course of conduct” means conduct —
(a)
on one occasion, if —
(i)
the conduct is protracted; or
(ii)
the accused person has a previous conviction under this section in respect of the same victim; or
(b)
on 2 or more occasions in any other case;
“related person”, in relation to the victim, means a person about whose safety or well‑being the victim would reasonably be expected to be seriously concerned.
Illustration
Y surreptitiously plants a camera in X’s apartment. Unknown to X, the camera continuously transmits live videos of X in X’s apartment and Y watches the videos continually over several days. Y’s conduct is protracted.
Enhanced penalty for subsequent offence
8.  A person who is convicted (whether before, on or after 15 November 2014) of any offence under the repealed section 13A, 13B, 13C or 13D of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Cap. 184) in force before that date or who is convicted of any offence under section 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 shall, on a subsequent conviction —
(a)
for an offence under section 3, be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both;
(b)
for an offence under section 4, be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both;
(c)
for an offence under section 5, be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both;
(d)
for an offence under section 6, be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both; and
(e)
for an offence under section 7, be liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
Community order
9.  A court shall, upon the conviction of any person for any offence under section 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, have the power to make a community order under Part XVII of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68) despite any provision to the contrary in section 337(1)(h) of that Code.
Contravention of certain orders
10.
—(1)  Any person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with an order made under section 12 (except section 12(3)(c) and any direction under section 12(3)(d) made with respect to an order made under section 12(3)(c)) or section 13 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), subsection (1) shall not affect the powers of the court in relation to the punishment for contempt of court.
(3)  Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) in respect of any non‑compliance with an order, that non‑compliance is not punishable as a contempt of court.
(4)  A person cannot be convicted of an offence under subsection (1) in respect of any non‑compliance with an order which has been punished as a contempt of court.